Pope Francis delivered the homily at his daily Mass on Friday at the Santa Marta residence chapel, where he provided a catechesis on sin and corruption so that God’s mercy can truly be appreciated.
“Corruption is a very easy sin for all of us who have some power, whether it be ecclesiastical, religious, economic, political … because the devil makes us feel certain: ‘I can do it,'” Pope Francis said.
The Holy Father pointed out the difference between sin and corruption saying that while the corrupt think they have no need for God, “regular sinners” feels the need for forgiveness.
He began his teachings from the first reading taken from the book of 2 Samuel 11. It tells a story of David and Bathsheba, recounting King David’s own passage from sin to corruption.
“David is a saint, but also a sinner,” the Holy Father pointed out.
Explaining, he outlined the story narrated in the Bible: The story is told that David, while walking on the roof of his palace, saw Bathsheba, who was then the wife of Uriah, having a bath. He immediately desired her and later made her pregnant. David tried to cover up his sin of adultery from her husband Uriah.
When this didn’t work, David finally conspired to have Uriah killed by sending a letter to Joab, the commander of the forces, to have Uriah placed in the forefront of the battle and then have the forces drawn back to ensure Uriah would be killed. By doing this, David ensured his own safety through the certain death of Bathsheba’s husband.
It was “because the kingdom was strong,” Pope Francis pointed out, that David’s lust led him down the corrupt path to murder, making him confident that “he has the power, he has the strength.” Hence, he committed adultery, conspiracy to commit murder, and then finally and essentially, premeditated murder.
“He condemns him to death. This man, this faithful man [Uriah] – faithful to the law, faithful to his people, faithful to his king – carries his own death sentence,” Pope Francis continued.
However, the “courageous youth” David was ultimately saved from corruption by the grace of God because he turned towards God’s forgiveness. Pope Francis accentuated this turning point as the fundamental distinction between sin and corruption.
Just like David, there are moments in everyone’s lives where the attitude of sin ends and turns to corruption, Pope Francis explained. The story tells us that God’s
agenda is not to crush sinners under his feet, but to heal them and restore their relationship with Him.
According to Pope Francis, “one of the ugliest things” about this stage is that corruption leads one to believe that he has “no need for forgiveness.”
“Today, let us offer a prayer for the Church, beginning with ourselves,” the Pope said, praying, “Lord, save us, save us from corruption. We are sinners, yes, O Lord, all of us, but let us never become corrupt.”